It’s a new year, which means it’s the perfect time to finally do the one thing you wanted to do all last year: get organized!
While getting organized may not really be at the top of your to-do list, it might not be a bad idea to consider adding it.
As we get older, we tend to accumulate a lot of “stuff.” Although we want to hold on to most of what we have, it’s a good idea to find a safe, secure place for the truly important things,
including financial statements, passports and other legal documents.
Not sure where to begin? USA.gov recommends the following tips to help you or your aging loved one get organized:
- Gather all important documents in the home and separate them into three piles:
1) Active Pile – bank statements, health records, insurance and tax documents, etc.
2) Dead Pile – documents over three years old
3) Discard/Shred Pile – cancelled checks, expired warranties, etc.
- Establish a filing system that you can understand and manage (e.g., alphabetical hanging file folders)
- Designate one person to keep files organized and updated, but be sure that everyone in the home – plus adult children – knows where everything is stored.
- Consider scanning documents and keeping an electronic filing system on the computer
- Create a grab-and-go kit for emergencies. Visit OperationHope.org for FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit guidelines.
- Have a fireproof and waterproof safe in the home for important documents such as passports, birth certificates, advanced directives, etc.
Getting organized may not happen overnight, but it can happen! By following these simple guidelines, you or your loved one can save time, reduce stress and gain peace of mind by knowing that everything is right where it needs to be.